• Currently coveting

    For some of us it's echeveria. Others seek sedums.
    See our succulent posts....

  • Don’t miss Free Fridays

    One of our most popular features is "Free stuff Fridays" when we give away all sorts of garden things from books to seeds to garden gadgets.
    Join the fun every Friday.

  • Grow food not lawns

    As commercial growers pump out more bland, backyard gardeners are getting good at growing their own. Find out about edibles, including chickens here

  • An eye for design

    Plants, rocks and pots are all good. It's how you put them together that counts. Check out our design posts for an eyeful of ideas

April 23, 2014

Gardening with fabric scraps

This quilt won Best in Show at the 2012 European Quilt Championships. Made by Ans Schipper Vermeiren from the Netherlands and proving you can garden with a needle and thread.

Slate—Pay attention. Plants talk to bugs and birds more than we know

More on the fabric front:
Bark cloth pillows
Succulents that take soft to a new level
Porch swings


April 21, 2014

Paper flowers

Star of the paper flower world, still-life stylist and floral designer Livia Cetti graces the pages of Martha Stewart’s and Brides magazines and more ad campaigns than we can think of. Her secret to exquisite faux flowers?

Paper. She shows you with her how-to manual of flower making, “The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers.” I know what I’m doing this summer.

Huffpost—Be careful where you shop. Missouri police launch “Operation Constant Gardener,” raiding homes of people who shop at hydroponic stores.


April 17, 2014

Drought gardening with Ollas

Here is one way to garden in a severe drought - plant an Olla (pronounced O-ya.) Pot irrigation is an ancient practice. You plant the pot up to its neck, fill it with water, cover the hole with a stone and the porous terra cotta seeps moisture into the soil. Nothing is lost to evaporation.

The way it works is plants wrap their roots around the Olla. Good for raised bed gardens and containers of all kinds.

Washington Post—Scientist weed out “bad seeds”


April 14, 2014

Plastic Easter grass alert

Nobody wants to spoil the fun for egg hunts and Easter baskets, but know that Easter grass seriously harms the health of backyard birds.

The first problem is that birds are attracted to plastic Easter grass as sparkly as it is. And it happens to be just the right size and weight to make a soft landing for real bird eggs.

The trouble begins when the chicks hatch and get tangled up in the grass. Not only can plastic Easter grass strangle newborn birds, it can grab hold of the mother’s leg leaving her unable to leave the nest to feed her chicks.

Bird lovers everywhere ask us not to use plastic Easter grass. If you do, be sure to pick up every single strand you find.

Better yet, use shredded paper, paper packing material or line Easter baskets with sustainable options like pretty cloth napkins.


April 11, 2014

24th Annual Spring Garden Show

SPONSORED POST—Tour season is upon us and one of the stops that makes us feel like kids in a candy store is the Annual Spring Garden Show in Costa Mesa. Mark your calendar for four days of garden design displays, plant and gadget vendors and speakers galore April 24-27.

Thursday meet Dan Hinkley of Heronswood fame, Friday hear Johanna Silver of Sunset magazine, Saturday meet Pat Welsh, Julie Bawden-Davis and Shirley Bovshow and Sunday nosh on the wild side with Teresa O’Conner of Seasonal Wisdom.

The best part is is it’s all free and there are restaurants. Lots of restaurants. If you like artisan breads, try Pacific Whey Cafe.

I’ll be making a mad dash for that giant geranium ‘Orion’ hoping Robin Parer of Geraniaceae hasn’t sold out.


April 9, 2014

Cherry Blossom Festival cam

Gardeners in all the united states can enjoy the cherry blossoms at the D.C. Jefferson Memorial with this 24-hour cam of the blooms at the Tidal Basin. Peaking now! Watch the trees tossing in the breeze and imagine that you’re strolling beneath the branches.

In the Capital—-What year was Lady Bird planting those trees?



April 8, 2014

Digiplexis Illumination Flame

Everybody is going a little nutty over this new plant - no seriously - the plant is new - a cross by Charles Valin between foxglove and isoplexis. It’s a stunner with 3-foot blooms in tequila sunrise colors, best in show at Chelsea Flower Show and popping up everywhere like Armstrong Nursery, Annie’s Annuals and Wayside Gardens.

Take Part—Big city soils not so safe


April 4, 2014

Free squirrel solution Friday

Here is the tag line for “Outwitting Squirrels”: 101 Cunning Stratagems to Reduce Dramatically the Egregious Misappropriation of Seed from Your Birdfeeder by Squirrels. The book is part serious squirrel facts delivered with humor and part rating systems of squirrel-proof feeders. One of the categories: hilarity.

Seriously though: If you’d like to win this 3rd Edition by Bill Adler Jr., leave us a comment about your most egregious squirrel experience. A winner will be chosen at random, eyes closed, pinkie promise.

Last week’s winners of free passes to Grand Tradition Estate and Gardens: Scott Lathrop, Dee Dee, Sylvia Borovay, Cheri H, Angie H, Connie Beck and Danny. Email cindy@dirtdujour.com with your mailing address.